This chilled eggplant salad is made with tender, smoky baked eggplant, green onions, garlic, and lemon juice. It’s delicious on its own or served with warm pita bread.
Eggplant is the star of the show in some of my favorite recipes like 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef and Eggplant, Grilled Eggplant with Tahini Sauce, Turkish Eggplant Salsa, or Sausage, Eggplant, and Kale Pasta.
I bet you never thought there were so many ways to enjoy eggplant, did you? It’s one of my favorite fruits (commonly mislabeled as a veggie!) to use in flavorful dishes because it’s spongy texture soaks everything up so well.
While eggplant is much preferable cooked, it doesn’t have to be served hot! In this chilled salad, the eggplant is roasted ahead of time to give it that smoky flavor, before cooling, dicing, and tossing with the rest of the ingredients.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
No, the skin of an eggplant is edible, though the skin on larger eggplants might be a bit tough.
No! The rumor that eggplants are poisonous from the 13th century ends here. Eggplants are nightshades, and they are absolutely safe to eat – belonging to a similar family to tomatoes, potatoes, and chili peppers. But fun fact: they’re actually a berry!
About 20 minutes is sufficient. That’s enough time to cool everything through but not too long that the ingredients get mushy or wilted.
In short, because eggplants are nutrient-dense, meaning they pack a lot of nutrients and vitamins into a small number of calories. Eggplants are high in fiber, vitamins K and C, and minerals like manganese, folate, and potassium. They are also high in antioxidants, can reduce heart disease, help control blood sugar and weight loss, as well as potentially aid in cancer treatment.
When you’re at the grocery store or farmer’s market it can be quite simple to tell if an eggplant is ripe. Some things to look for: is it heavy? is its skin smooth and shiny and firm? is the stem green? The larger the eggplant, the more bitter, so also try and choose a small or medium-sized one.
Your fork is waiting.
Lebanese Eggpant Salad
- 1 large eggplant
- 3 green onions
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
- ½ cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Prick eggplant with a small knife several times then bake in a 350-degree oven until tender, about 30 minutes.
- When eggplant is done cooking, peel then cut it into cubes. Place in a large bowl with all remaining ingredients. Toss well and add more salt or pepper to taste.